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Open mike 26/05/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 26th, 2013 - 290 comments
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290 comments on “Open mike 26/05/2013”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Hypocrisy Watch

    No floral tributes on London streets for the victim of this brutal stabbing….

    British soldier jailed for stabbing 10-year-old Afghan boy
    A British soldier has been jailed for stabbing a 10-year-old boy after getting drunk on vodka while serving in Afghanistan.
    by SEAN RAYMENT, Defence Correspondent, Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2011

    Grenadier Guardsman Daniel Crook was jailed for 18 months and dismissed from the Army in June for stabbing Ghulam Nabi in the kidney with a bayonet in Helmand Province.

    Details of the incident emerged in a court martial, which heard that the soldier stabbed the boy who had been pestering Crook for chocolate. The incident took place in March last year after Crook had drunk a bottle of vodka sent in a disguised container from a friend in England. The soldier had been so drunk that prior to the patrol he needed treatment from medics, court martial was told.

    Prior to the patrol in the Nad e’Ali area of central Helmand, Crook’s rifle had been confiscated but the soldier had armed himself with a bayonet and two hand grenades. The prosecution said he came across two Afghans riding bikes – one of them was Ghulam, who had been sent out to collect a bottle of yoghurt and who then pestered Crook for chocolate. In response, the soldier “took hold of the boy’s shoulder and stabbed him in the region of his kidneys with his bayonet”.

    Afterwards, Crook caught up with the patrol and admitted what he had done. When questioned by military police he could not explain why he had stabbed the boy.

    The boy’s father, Haji Shah Zada, 72, told the Guardian newspaper that he could not understand why his son was attacked and had received no apology from the British forces. The shopkeeper and farmer said his son was still suffering and has not yet been back to school. He said British forces were “in Afghanistan to build the country and remove insurgents, not to stab a child”.

    A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Protecting the Afghan civilian population is one of ISAF and the UK’s top priorities. All British troops undergo comprehensive training on the strict rules of engagement that UK forces and ISAF operate under. Any allegations of infringements of these rules of engagement are investigated thoroughly. Those who are found to fall short of the Army’s high standards or who are found to have committed an offence are dealt with administratively – up to and including discharge – or through the discipline process, as appropriate.”


    • ghostrider888 1.1

      and some thoughts on Govt. offer of peace-keeping deployment in the Middle East (from RNZ).
      -“NZ needs to be more ‘hard-nosed’ about selecting it’s commitments”.
      -“NZ needs to consider the wider geo-political and trade pictures.”

      -“they only want our SAS” – Susan Wood, (military analyst) Q+A.

  2. Morrissey 2

    LIARS OF OUR TIME No. 12: U.K. Ministry of Defence spokesman

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    “Protecting the Afghan civilian population is one of ISAF and the UK’s top priorities.”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    —Ministry of Defence spokesman, after Grenadier Guardsman Daniel Crook was jailed for 18 months and dismissed from the Army in June 2011 for stabbing ten-year-old Ghulam Nabi in the kidney with a bayonet in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

    See also….
    No. 11: Brendan O’Connor: “Australia’s approach to refugees is compassionate and generous.”
    No. 10: Boris Johnson: “Londoners have… the best police in the world to look after us and keep us safe.”
    No. 9: NewstalkZB PR dept: “News you NEED! Fast, fair, accurate!” No. 8: Simon Bridges: “I don’t mean to duck the question” 
No. 7: Nigel Morrison: “Quite frankly, they’ve been VERY tough.”

    No. 6: NZ Herald PR dept: “Congratulations—you’re reading New Zealand’s best newspaper.”
 No. 5: Rawdon Christie: “…a FORMIDABLE replacement, it seems, is Claudette Hauiti.” 
No. 4: Willie and J.T.: “The X-Factor. Nah, nah, there’s some GREAT talent there!”
No. 3: John Key: “Yeah we hold MPs to a higher standard.”
No. 2: Colin Craig: “Oh, I have a GREAT sense of humour.” (TV3 News, 24 April 2013) No. 1: Barack Obama: “Margaret Thatcher was one of the great champions of freedom and liberty.”

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Don’t see why that makes him a liar. Can you prove it isn’t “one of their top priorities”? They could have 100 “top priorities” and that is merely one of them. Similarly just because something is a “top priority” it doesn’t mean that they aren’t completely ineffective at achieving anything in that area; in fact that could be why it’s a top priority, to improve their handling of it.

      • Dr Terry 2.1.1

        EVERY PRIORITY is a top priority by its very nature, what is this about “grading” priorities? A priority is simply a priority and therefore important.

      • Morrissey 2.1.2

        Don’t see why that makes him a liar.

        That could well be one of the funniest things you’ve ever written.

        But then, I am a bit of a connoisseur of black humour.

        • Lanthanide

          Not really, Morrissey. My point is that you seem to brand anyone that doesn’t agree with your pre-conceived ideas a liar. For example, you called Rob Fyffe a liar for saying it was perfectly safe to fly to Tokyo, and yet you have completely and utterly failed to show any evidence that he was wrong.

          • Morrissey

            Not really, Morrissey. My point is that you seem to brand anyone that doesn’t agree with your pre-conceived ideas a liar.

            No, you are incorrect. If someone disagrees with me, it would be impertinent and foolish of me to call that person a liar. I might strongly disagree, but unless someone makes a statement that is obviously and calculatedly a falsehood, I would not presume he or she was lying.

            However, when the rhetoric of public officials flagrantly contradicts the empirical evidence, then it is fair and right to say that person is lying. So when, say, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, in his godawful book Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, claims that an unarmed seventeen-year-old Palestinian peace activist shot by Israeli soldiers in 2000 was “caught in a crossfire and killed”, he is lying. On a slightly less craven level, when John Key, who has continued in the face of public disgust to keep John Banks in his cabinet, claims that he holds MPs “to a higher standard”, he is lying. And when a PR flack for the British military claims that protecting civilians in Afghanistan is a “top priority”, the actual facts of the situation, such as a British hero bayoneting a ten-year-old child, turn that PR spin into a horrible, outrageous lie.

            For example, you called Rob Fyffe [sic] a liar for saying it was perfectly safe to fly to Tokyo, and yet you have completely and utterly failed to show any evidence that he was wrong.

            I have carefully reminded you on several occasions of the facts of the matter, viz., that at the exact time that Fyfe was declaring an area suffering a nuclear meltdown to be perfectly safe, the Japanese government was seriously considering the evacuation of the population of Tokyo. The situation, in plain language, was a catastrophe, which of course persists. I think you are perfectly aware of Fyfe’s foolishness and dishonesty, but given your outspoken support for nuclear power for many years on this forum, it is perhaps not surprising you cannot bring yourself to admit his moral failure.

            • North

              Pretty good response there Morrissey. Disingenuous, insulting, self-serving spin needs to be identified and railed against. You do it well. Not doing so with some vigour is to encourage the crooks.

            • Lanthanide

              “that at the exact time that Fyfe was declaring an area suffering a nuclear meltdown to be perfectly safe”

              I wasn’t aware Tokyo suffered a nuclear meltdown.

              “And when a PR flack for the British military claims that protecting civilians in Afghanistan is a “top priority”, the actual facts of the situation, such as a British hero bayoneting a ten-year-old child, turn that PR spin into a horrible, outrageous lie.”

              So when one soldier does something that goes against the higher-ups orders, the higher-ups must be lying?

  3. karol 3

    Helen Kelly is asking why Weta Workshop is asking immigration NZ for approval to give 529 jobs to people from overseas. Sometimes it is necessary to get workers from overseas, but 529 seems a bit high to me. However, I need more information to judge for certain whether there is justification for out-sourcing so many jobs.

    Steven Joyce’s reported responses looks like diversionary, incomprehensible business-speak to me.

    Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce said the number of people training in visual imaging, computer graphic design and animation was up from 1,100 nine years ago to 4,000 last year.

    “The question is, are you prepared to bring in a few hundred people to ensure everyone else gets a chance to participate in those movies and get the downstream effects of those people living and working here?

    “I’d say it’s definitely worth it,” Joyce said.

    I’ve added bold to the most puzzling bit.

    • tc 3.1

      Im picturing the scene in the simpsons were asian animators are being prodded with bayonets to draw faster……PJ ‘s membership to the business roundtable must be coming along nicely.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      If we’ve got so many thousands of people training to be visual artists then we probably don’t need to import any as we’d already have the skills here.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.2.1

        Smells like a 3 day old fish, my son has a BA in Graphic design, recently graduated and only two of his class have actually found full time employment in their chosen discipline.

        • Rhinocrates

          Used to teach at a certain university’s art/design school myself, and the management essentially saw the students as a hoard of piggy banks. They’d sign on as many as they could while knowing that the jobs weren’t there for them and then stick them – and staff – in conditions that violated OSH requirements.

          Student Health kept pleading with us to take better care as a disproportionate number of Design students were coming to them, I know of several suicide attempts due to stress. I suffered work-related injury and illness that forced me to resign (with a significant out-of-court settlement).

          Most graduates headed off overseas, those who could work in digital animation end up in places like Weta where they work incredible hours on contracts with no security, which is exacerbated thanks to Key and Jackson.

          The lack of security and poor working conditions through the design for film industry are highlighted in this article:


          tc’s Simpsons allusion is indeed apt.

          It’s a myth that a university degree is an elite thing or guarantees an income and the creative industries see some terrible abuses because creative people, unfortunately, are too damn motivated by art instead of money – something Joyce et al are all too willing to exploit.

          • Tiger Mountain

            Thank you Rhino for the courtesy of an honest detailed reply! I tried to talk my son out of doing graphic design but it was where he wanted to go, and he may still have a future as he specializes in illustration and can draw unlike many of his class mates. The stinger is he works (as a contractor, when he is clearly an employee) for a caterer in the film industry and has well figured out the scenario you describe.

            I am nearing the end of my career as a freelance layout and pre presser, used to use light boards and bromides, macs now. You can order all your print stuff from India for the price of a pizza so why bother really.

            • Rhinocrates

              Best wishes for your son. One’s always happier following one’s calling than the dollar in the long run. Hopefully it’s not too long.

            • Tim

              Re your son – ditto my daughter (who now works for an architect firm in London who rip of their staff and have the biggest turnover I’ve ever witnessed).
              I’m picking she won’t be a candidate for PJ’s grand vision that necessitates 500+ talent imports.

              Actually, now I think about it – that’s probably just as well because she wouldn’t want to work for him anyway

          • alwyn

            You are being totally unfair to Stephen Joyce by claiming that he is willing to exploit people who do degrees in subjects where there are neglible numbers of jobs.
            Joyce is the one who wanted the Universities to have to explain to prospective students what the prospects for employment were BEFORE they commited to expensive courses of study. For saying this he was abused by the academic Mafia who wanted lots of students in their subjects to maintain their own very comfortable lifestyle. As Rhino says above it was the University who regarded the students as little money banks.
            It was Joyce who was trying to prevent students being exploited rather than the other way around.

            • McFlock

              But he still wanted to keep a system where institutions are paid on a per-student basis.

              • Tiger Mountain

                Yep posteriors on seats still rules, Lord Jackson? Don’t go there.

            • Murray Olsen

              Who are the academic mafia? In my experience, it’s the Tory loving executives at Dean and above who want more students and have comfortable life styles. Most academics would happily settle for less so we could teach properly and not end up watching students graduate who can barely do 20% of what they should know.

              And if someone was unfair to Joyce, cry me a river.

    • ghostrider888 3.3

      yet, according to the commentary around the interview with Maharey on Q+A this morning, funding for IT, Engineering and Science courses at Unis have been increased by this government, and while Maharey tried to remain ‘focused’ on the ‘reputation’* motto, he was pinned down to the facts of the matter that the V.C is effectively a CEO, and concerned daily with what courses students are taking and how much they are paying.

      *reputation, being the scoop in a stagnant pool of candidiates, due to the NAct policy re allowances for post-grad work.

  4. karol 4

    A good read from Rod Oram this morning on the pros and cons of NZ’s current economic situation: ‘The best and worst of times’:

    He says the growth in trade with China is just a re-focusing and not matched by an overall growth. The government’s focus on growing agricultural exports is misplaced because it is environmentally unsustainable. He concludes:

    Taking into account these positive and negatives across the economy, Treasury’s budget forecasts show GDP growth will slow once the Christchurch rebuild winds down after 2015. By 2017 we’ll be barely above our long run growth rate of around 2 per cent, even though our trading partners will be growing twice as fast.

    So, it’s right to give Government and business credit for their work to date. But it’s wrong to believe that’s enough. Bigger, faster still eludes us.

  5. Saarbo 5

    “This is a situation that previous leaders thought they dealt with by setting up the NZ Superannuation Fund. This week it reported earnings of 19.85 per cent over the last year and grew to $22.6 billion by the end of April, thanks to average returns of 8.7 per cent since its creation in 2003.”…
    …”Figures released by the fund under the Official Information Act show the fund would now be worth $32.7 billion if the government had continued putting money into it.”
    …”The irony is that borrowing to invest would have meant the Government’s net debt would now be lower than it is, because investment returns of 8.7 per cent are higher than government bond interest rates of 3.3 per cent.”

    From NZ Herald, Bernard Hickey Sat 25th May.

    This is another example of how incredibly inept and fiscally irresponsible this government is. Hooten and Co can rave on about NZ’s GDP growth compared to other nations (driven by Chch earthquake repairs Matthew, a major f%$%&n disaster and the dairy payout, a commodity).
    Add other areas where National are fucking up our economy including not introducing a CGT, which will send our interest rates/exchange rate up. Fucking up our relationship with our No 1 trading nation, China. The Government driving Solid Energy into the ground.I can go on and on.

    Labour should be doing a hell of a lot better in the polls than it is…why cant it seem to get any leverage from the absolute hopelessness of this government?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      This is another example of how incredibly inept and fiscally irresponsible this government is.

      No it doesn’t. This government doesn’t want the government debt to be lower, they want it to be higher as then they and their rich mates get a government guaranteed income for doing nothing from all the government bonds they hold.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      “This is another example of how incredibly inept and fiscally irresponsible this government is.”

      No, this is an example of 20/20 hindsight. The government made the call to stop contributions due to the uncertainty around the global economic picture. It very easily could have gotten worse very quickly and we’d now be saying “thank god the government stopped investing in that money hole”.

      • Dv 5.2.1

        How much did the tax cuts cost?

        So a fiscally responsible govt gave a billion a year tax cut that stimulated growth and the economy
        DUH well that worked well!!

        • Lanthanide

          Even without the tax cuts, the government would still be in deficit, so would have had to have borrowed to invest into the fund, so again, my point holds.

          • Dv

            But tax cuts promised lotsa growth. What happened to that?
            And the deficit would have been MUCH smaller.

          • freedom

            They could have continued to collect the tax, and the monies they selfishly decided to forgo, i.e the 2b a year tax cuts, could have been slid across into the fund. Win Win, we get the dividends from the fund, the country stays just as fucked as it was, the deficit is a bit smaller, the only negative is that all those tax bribed voters would probably not have voted National in a second term.

            How would any of that have been bad for New Zealand?

            and before you bleat on about ‘they still would have had to have borrowed’ . . . probably but not as much and besides, borrowed for what?

            What exactly has this Government borrowed over 50 billion dollars for? What?

            Not ChCh or else that would mean the bill is paid
            Not education
            Not hospitals
            not housing
            Not welfare
            not jobs
            not rail
            not public transport

            what has it spent over fifty billion dollars on?
            some roads to holiday homes
            some bailouts
            a whole bunch of software that doesn’t work
            some helicopters that cost $24K per hour to keep in the air
            a big ass data center that no-one wants to talk about
            there must be more but even ‘experts’ seem a bit flummoxed as to what is actually being paid for with the never ending borrowing of hundreds of millions per week

            • freedom

              Lanthanide, please excuse the ‘bleat on about’ comment. It is non-constructive and unnecessarily inflammatory and basically the result of growing stress at being without a job, growing debt from being without a job and the growing resentment at the hypocrisy of those who could and should be doing something about helping build jobs in New Zealand. In no way should that have been directed at an individual who is only trying to engage and discuss the issues.

            • ghostrider888

              ahhh, this goes here; Budget Incredulities

            • muzza

              What exactly has this Government borrowed over 50 billion dollars for? What?

              Well there has been no official audit of the so called *public debt*. so its no surprise that there is nothing to show for the tax take, the borrowings and so on!

              NZ is being taken into dangerous territory, and is on the road to being bankrupt, again – 1961.

              The question is, to what end, and how many years is it, until such time as the so called *sovereignty* on this country, is no longer!

              Its a mathematical certainty, we are being cleaned out, and the nations *wealth*, that would be *the nation*, is being taken, to pay a bill, that can NEVER be repaid, and that quite likely, NZ does not even owe!

              Conditionalities Policies – 1961

      • Foreign Waka 5.2.2

        Well all these crystal ball glazing makes one dizzy…… So here is my version: The government has gone and reduced the contribution and will completely stop any payment as are the employers. Why? Because this is the next slush fund that will be used to settle the debt that grows exponentially.

      • Saarbo 5.2.3

        But Lanthanide, they made a call and got it wrong hence they are inept. Good governments, like good businesses make good calls, they get it right. This government is driving our economy towards a very predictable housing bubble in Auckland/Chch…and it will probably spread. Wait for the higher interest rates and increased exchange rates, all very predictable.

        I reckon David Parker is right on the mark, we have a 2 speed economy that needs to be sorted.

    • Dr Terry 5.3

      So long as Labour remains as it is, I fear that at the 2014 election Labour supporters will stay away from voting in their droves. They (Labour caucus) are obviously determined never to learn. After the Goff debacle one might have expected some kind of transformation.

      • Tim 5.3.1

        Agree! And unless Labour wake up VERY soon, we’ll never see the party as a viable alternative in the future. On the pus (oops plus) side, it’ll keep a few PR consultants and advertising people in work as a process of ‘rebranding’ and ‘re-imaging’ becomes necessary post 2014 as the remnants of the Labour Party that aren’t nearing retirement try to ‘re-establish’ themselves (all crying “it wasn’t our fault – no really – it really really really wasn’t).

    • KJT 5.4

      In New Zealand. Economic growth under more left wing Governments is at least a third higher.

      Even more telling is the, rate! of increase in economic growth.

      Right wing Governments are not even successful by their own criteria.

  6. logie97 6

    Marry into money and you’re fine.

    Susan Woods, on Q+A just now, on the question of Student funding withdrawn for 40 year plus students “When you are that age, can’t you fund yourselves?”

    How do fund yourself through University when you have been made redundant, or your skills have become redundant through the advance of technology?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Ah, so this government have just thrown most 40+ year olds on the scrap heap.

      • logie97 6.1.1

        Just wonder how many of the current government and their back-office crew benefitted from a free or subsidised tertiary qualification? Typical Tory kick-the-ladder-from-underneath-you attitude from the likes of Wood.

    • prism 6.2

      Good looking women like Susan Woods who go after the main chance and end up with money to burn, can say things like that. Once you have married well in material terms, and if you still have earning opportunities you can rise as high as a woman can, far higher than feminists were thinking of when they were agitating for better opportunities for women in the 1970’s.

      And like many humans who move upwards with social mobility and money, they become self-interested and competitive and socially connected with those at that level, and contemptuous of any that are lower. In Hollywood it was said, players who had failures of some sort, stopped being invited to the good parties. I remember the Newman woman in an interview with Maori activists asking why they just couldn’t accept what the government was offering and be satisfied instead of agitating about rights and wrongs. And I thought, there is the epitome of a self-satisfied self-interested middle class, comfortably off woman. And that mindset can transcend racial boundaries also. viz Poorer Benefit, Hekia Parata.

      • Tiger Mountain 6.2.1

        Good looking? she has generally had a shit eating grin that disqualifies her from that description, but I really agree with the rest of your analysis prism.

        • prism

          Tiger M
          Yes I was thinking that he successful middle class social climber and self-entrepreneur does usually manage to put up a good front, with perhaps a grin that is less endearing than the Cheshire cat’s, but it’s part of the camouflage and perhaps persiflage (new word – I quite like it) that is used to hide the tiger within. No cute kittens here.

      • Populuxe1 6.2.2

        What the fuck does her being good-looking or not have to do with anything? What misogynistic bullshit. Oh, she’s a woman, she obviously couldn’t have achieved her position without being attractive. Sexism is always stinkiest in the Left. At least you sort of expect it from the Right.

        • prism

          Good on you. Start a campaign that ugly, even plain women have equal opportunities with the smoothies on television. And get the chance to gaze at us winningly from the front of the wall of women’s magazines at the supermarket. It’s the market stupid. Drawing attention to how useful good looks are in getting ahead of others is not bad. What about the others who have superior wider abilities and are more thoughtful and pragmatic with more ideals and standards but haven’t got the right face? Women get classified according to looks far more than men do.

        • Morrissey

          Oh, she’s a woman, she obviously couldn’t have achieved her position without being attractive.

          Put up your hands if you agree with the following statement:

          * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

          “Susan Wood is a fine journalist who could have succeeded simply on her talent.”

          * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

          Somebody? …. Anybody? ….. Come on, SURELY someone recognizes Susan Wood’s outstanding talents?…. Put your hands up HIGH, please. ….. No? … How about you, Populuxe?…

    • Foreign Waka 6.3

      This government has effectively put in place a “one off” education subsidy (if you want to name it in the spirit of it) that is aimed of giving everybody a basic start and after that its good by and good luck. If you want higher education you will be in debt for the rest of your life unless you land one of those scarce jobs that pay plenty. Perhaps this is what it is all about, the Darwin theory packaged into the Dickinson policy frame.
      NZlanders will need to make a decision; whether or not they are part of a world where the humanities are an integral part of society, kind of a living breathing culture. By what I see around me, I have great doubts. As for Labour or any other parties; they don’t have any answers either. Just riding a popular wave that gives them a brief exposure on the face book page. I have still not seen any cohered policy or even ideas that are feasible from Labour. The lack of alternative to the current governments reactive policies and in some cases incompetence (meat exports) is translating to a depressive picture on the political landscape. I wonder whether anyone of the handout recipients in the beehive have the guts to change this.

    • Populuxe1 6.4

      Presumably you borrow your living expenses from your student loan like most people do when they’ve used up their allowance allocation as an undergrad.

  7. veutoviper 7

    I just checked the Green Party website and while there is no news item as yet, there is a Twitter by Gareth Hughes stating that Marama Davidson has been selected as the Green candidate for the Ikaroa-Rawhitit by-election.

    This by-election is really hotting up as an exciting one to watch.

    • weka 7.1

      Just got this by email

      We are excited to announce that Marama Davidson (Te Rarawa,
      Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou) has been selected as the Green Party candidate
      for the Ikaroa-Ràwhiti by-election.

      Marama is a social justice advocate and political commentator who
      also formed Te Wharepora Hou. Te Wharepora Hou are a collective of
      wāhine Māori, mainly Tāmaki-makau-rau based, with strong
      participation from wāhine based elsewhere in Aotearoa and the world.

      Marama has worked for the Human Rights Commission as a community
      educator and is currently on the (Owen) Glenn Inquiry Think Tank. She
      contributes to The Daily Blog and is a regular current affairs
      commentator on Māori TV particularly as a vocal opponent of offshore
      and onshore mining.

      • marty mars 7.1.1

        Very strong candidate – I rate Marama very highly.

        • weka

          Any thoughts on how the by-election might play out, given the various candidates and parties?

          • marty mars

            I’m not really up to speed on it but if I was voting I’d give Marama a vote and Mana the party vote. I think labour are in for a bit of a shock.

            • Tiger Mountain

              It is an electorate vote–Mana all the way. Matt McCarten has really lost the plot too Marty reading his HOS column, which I won’t link to, don’t forget he was a strategist for the Māori party when it first kicked off.

              Labour will indeed be in for a shock because Te Hamua Nikora is nephew to the deceased Horomia and will have a good show of engaging previous non voters which is the key task for the next 12 months for all lefties if the dirty filthy Torys are going to be despatched.

              • Sorry my bad – with only one vote it is tricky – as a Mana member I fully support Te Hauma and I agree with you TM about his likely activation of non-voters, and I also want Marama in Parliament – my vote would go to Te Hauma because the message has to be sent, but I wouldn’t be too unhappy if Marama got there.

                I fully agree with your last paragraph.

                As for Matt – definitely seems to be old-school thinking – he’s in for a shock on the night too.

                • Clockie

                  Hey guys.

                  I’ve always had a soft spot for Matt McCarten. He’s been a real player in his day and much more principled and courageous than many of his contemporaries. There have been many occasions over the decades when he has had me punching the air and saying “Go Matt!”

                  I understand he is not a well man at all and I imagine that his general state of health and no doubt the drug regime that goes with it means he doesn’t perform in quite the same quicksilver-bang-on-the-button way that he used to.

                  One could argue that he should get out and leave it to younger or more able people but would you begrudge him the opportunity to go out fighting for the cause he’s given his life to?

                  • Tiger Mountain

                    There is some truth no doubt Clockie to your comments, I have known Matt personally for 30 years, and do not envy his present postition but you also present the answer to my claim of Matts losing the plot.

                    The problem imo is that the NZH has wide distribution online and in print, if a previously perceived credible leftist gives a bum steer on a certain matter, which Matt has done here, it will impact on peoples thinking.

                    The correct call is Mana all the way. I don’t buy the party vote crappola from last time, this is a by election, Te Hamua Nikora (Horomia’s rellie) needs to win as part of building the left, and giving Hone a mate in parliament!

                  • I’m well aware of Matt’s situation and what he has done and continues to do to create a better country for us all so I’m not sure what you are talking about there Clockie.

                    • Clockie

                      Marty, “As for Matt – definitely seems to be old-school thinking – he’s in for a shock on the night too.”

                      While my comment was as gentle and friendly as I could possibly make it I was referring to the generosity of spirit that one might offer to a comrade in arms who is rapidly going into “that good night”.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      Electorally, Mana are in exactly the same position as the ACT party. In fact, in the latest poll, they have half the level of support of ACT.

                    • Clockie

                      The difference is that Mana have a humungous potential constituency waiting to be tapped if they ever work out how to motivate them. ACT definitely do not..

                      If that non-voting, low socio-economic youth vote ever gets politicized the political Right will be lucky to see office again any time in the next generation. Whether it’s possible to reach them and persuade them to drag their arses down to a polling booth remains to be seen.

      • veutoviper 7.1.2

        Marama has now put up a blog on the Daily Blog as to her reasons for running.


        I haven’t yet read it. I have tremendous respect for Marama but wonder (from a point of very little indepth knowledge in this area) whether her tribal affiliations etc would be more in tune with one of the other Maori electorates – eg Te Tai Tokerau or Tamaki Makaurau in the next general election.

        But very exciting – looking forward to the opinions of people like Morgan Godfery.

        But I am a strong supporter of Meka Whaitiri – as a person rather than as a possible Labour candidate.

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.3

        My worry is that Mana and the Greens will split the vote and let Labour in. We don’t need another anonymous Labour MP. Personally, I’d like to see Mana get the seat to double their exposure in Parliament, but I think Marama is good as well. I just hope the two leftish parties learn to work together for the good of us all.

  8. freedom 8


    ” Though she concedes that she could not have progressed as she did under her own new rules, Bennett bridles at the suggestion she has pulled the ladder up behind her. “Absolutely not. I think I’m just backing people as I was backed. ”

    Q: How is that not a 100% pure unadulturated contradiction

  9. i’ve just done reviews of q & a


    (excerpt:..’ed:..sigh..!..it’s mccully…
    (ed:..i promise i will try to stay awake..)

    (update:..apologies…my mind wandered..i haven’t got a fucken clue what he banged on about..it’ll be online..if you really feel you need it..)..”

    and ‘the nation’..


    (excerpt:..'(ed:..heh..!..geoffery palmer did a serious side-step when asked about his time working with parata in new york..he noted that he could confirm ‘that she helped with communications’..at that time..

    ..this of course could mean anything from answering the phones/delivering fresh sheets of paper/w.h.y..eh..?..

    ..a brilliant piece of non-information/non-committal from palmer..)..”

    phillip ure..

  10. North 10

    “When you are that age, can’t you fund yourselves ?”

    Forget the realities. You “should” be able to. If you can’t that shows how useless you are. End of story.

    That’s the bubble low quality overpaid idiot snobs like Susan Wood live in.

    • Paul 10.1

      Is this a quote from q and a today?
      Susan Wood – apart from being a good repeater of government propaganda, what exactly are her journalistic skills?
      How on earth do people like her get plum jobs in current events media?

      • Rhinocrates 10.1.1

        Your second question is the answer to your third.

        • logie97

          As she entered that age, you know around late 30’s early 40’s, she apparently graduated with an MBA at Otago.

          • Rhinocrates

            An MBA! Ha.

            I was reading the autobiography of Ben Rich, former head of Lockheed’s Skunk Works and came across an amusing anecdote.

            Trained (and excelling) as an engineer, but in order to have a seat on senior management, he was required to have an MBA, so the company sent him off to Harvard Business School.

            Afterwards, when asked what he’d learned from the experience, he wrote an equation:

            2/3 HBS = BS

            • Foreign Waka

              I think there is a finer point. If one sits long enough through papers and concentrates on the basic questions to economic theories, one finds the answer – that is the same no matter who is studying, amazing! Once there in that mental frame that puts you in sinc with everybody else, its easy sailing. This is not about contributing, this is about conforming. Engineering is based on science. Science and Humanities were once the pure forms of University study. Commerce and economics are not.

            • alwyn

              Careful Rhino. That sort of comment will see you banned.
              Lprent is very proud of his MBA.
              You are probably safer telling jokes about PhD degrees. Dilbert, a cartoon in the Dom/Post has started running them in the last few days.
              Actually, in terms of earning a living, having an MBA is better than having a PhD. People with a PhD, at least according to an article published in the Economist, make less than those with a Masters degree.
              Personally I agree with your opinion of an MBA. The Harvard students I met when in Boston referrd to the “b-school” and it was a grading, not just an abbreviation.

              • Rhinocrates

                lprent doesn’t just have an MBA, which is my point.

                I don’t think Wood has much breadth or depth of life experience.

                And I have experienced the irony of what you say next first hand…

  11. prism 11

    What a bunch of know nothings. Radionz was just doing a vox pop on what people knew about NZs bid for a Security Council seat. Most didn’t know anything about it. Advised that Turkey and Spain were also standing mainly they plumped for NZ – “Because I’m a Kiwi” or “So it can look after our interests”. One with an Indian-type accent hadn’t heard of the Security Council.

    My vote would be for Turkey which is playing an important role in the Syrian disaster resisting knee jerk reaction against Syrian incursions.

    If we win the seat we are just going to be useful to the USA as a lapdog in our new closer normal relationship, while our inept politicians ‘manage’ our dual relationship with China and the USA

    . The USA helped Afghanistan get rid of the Russians, then later they didn’t like what was happening there, so they helped Afghanistan with USA troops and armaments. How close do we want to be to this helpful country. We may have to make a choice between USA and China. We might have to weigh up the pros and cons. We might be better to maintain a little aloofness.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Now this is really interesting:

    The potential implications of the unexpected results were quickly apparent to Henrich. He knew that a vast amount of scholarly literature in the social sciences—particularly in economics and psychology—relied on the ultimatum game and similar experiments. At the heart of most of that research was the implicit assumption that the results revealed evolved psychological traits common to all humans, never mind that the test subjects were nearly always from the industrialized West. Henrich realized that if the Machiguenga results stood up, and if similar differences could be measured across other populations, this assumption of universality would have to be challenged.

    Oops, it’s appears that the assumption that we’re all the same was, like most assumptions, wrong.

    • ghostrider888 12.1

      yep, hence the insidious nature of cultural imperialism / hegemony through media.

    • marty mars 12.2

      Great link and article Draco – very interesting indeed and explains so much.

      So much information but these bits stood out

      In their paper the trio pointed out cross-cultural studies that suggest that the “weird” Western mind is the most self-aggrandizing and egotistical on the planet: we are more likely to promote ourselves as individuals versus advancing as a group. WEIRD minds are also more analytic, possessing the tendency to telescope in on an object of interest rather than understanding that object in the context of what is around it.

      The WEIRD mind also appears to be unique in terms of how it comes to understand and interact with the natural world. Studies show that Western urban children grow up so closed off in man-made environments that their brains never form a deep or complex connection to the natural world.

      and this bit too

      In the small-scale societies with a strong culture of gift-giving, yet another conception of fairness prevailed. There, generous financial offers were turned down because people’s minds had been shaped by a cultural norm that taught them that the acceptance of generous gifts brought burdensome obligations. Our economies hadn’t been shaped by our sense of fairness; it was the other way around.

      This gives us insight into our society here I think especially around the Treaty how we have got to where we are, what we think about that and perhaps where we can go from here.

      • ghostrider888 12.2.1

        personally, I have always viewed myself as a citizen of the world; the people around me…sigh.

  13. joe90 13

    Hezbollah has had enough and it’s no small thing that this is a declaration of war against US aligned Sunni elements.

    (sub-titled live leak video)


    In a speech commemorating the liberation of South Lebanon from Israeli occupation in 2000, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah blasts the Takfiri Wahhabi mentality that is spreading in the post-Arab Spring Middle East and calls it a disease that should not be ignored. He specifically gives examples from Iraq and Pakistan where these Takfiri groups killed people indiscriminately, not necessarily based only on sectarian affiliation but also based on political views.

    He also warned that this disease that has been heading to Lebanon poses a grave danger to the Lebanese society at large (Muslims and Christians), including all Lebanese institutions. He also considered the Syrian provinces adjacent to Lebanon as a critical area to prevent these groups from flooding into Lebanon.

    A Muslim who accuses another Muslim of apostasy.

    • muzza 13.1

      Unrelated to the above Joe, but in keeping with your tornado links earlier in the week….

      Something to get you started!


      • ghostrider888 13.1.1

        apologies for ignition on joe’s behalf muzza, but my impression is that there is not much ‘technology’ they are not already familiar with.

        • muzza

          Hey Ghostrider, hope your weekends going well, and no worries on the intervention.

          The *technology* is far beyond what the people would ever wrap their heads around, or are or will ever get to see provide positive outcomes for humanity.

          I make that call, because, IMO, this world of ours would be playing a different game, on another field, on the opposite side of town, from what we currently understand *this world*, to be!

          If *the tech*, was for the greater good, we would all be well aware of it by now, such as it is, we just have to live, whats in front of us!

          Joe linked to some tornado stats, Ben Eastlund, might be able to help Joe, in understanding where all those tornadoes *got to*, and why the *giant* cell, followed on the back of those, low numbers.

  14. pollywog 14

    Pretty scary…

    The shocking minutes relating to President Putin’s meeting this past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders “extreme outrage” over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing “bee apocalypse” that the Kremlin warns “will most certainly” lead to world war.


    • ghostrider888 14.1


      • pollywog 14.1.1

        Scare tactics work, especially if it affects the bottom line!

        Monsanto Co is hosting a “Bee Summit.” Bayer AG is breaking ground on a “Bee Care Center.” And Sygenta AG is funding grants for research into the accelerating demise of honeybees in the United States, where the insects pollinate fruits and vegetables that make up roughly a quarter of the American diet.

        The agrichemical companies are taking these initiatives at a time when their best-selling pesticides are under fire from environmental and food activists who say the chemicals are killing off millions of bees. The companies say their pesticides are not the problem, but critics say science shows the opposite.


        • ghostrider888

          good to see the protests yesterday, still, a long way to navigate back from.

          • pollywog

            Meh on protests. Too much, too little, too late…

            How does a corporation develop a social conscience ?

            A govt has to virtually legislate one for them but if the govt is in their back pocket then…

            …gotta let nature run its course.

            its not lookin good eh1

            • ghostrider888

              Nope. What really, really f*cks me off, is the depth of analysis and commentary in the link you provided, while the media menu served up to most folks is so peripheral and entertainment-focused.

              …we’re in the middle of ending something that we do
              We knew it had to end some day, this way…

              Still, never to late to lay me down in the tall grass. 🙂

            • Ennui

              Corporations dont develop a social conscience Polly, but they do have share holders. My suggestion is a little radical, it is to get the largest shareholders and to “try” them for being “accessory to ecocide”. Penalty to spend the rest of their lives brushing pollen (doing the bees work). Of course to “try” them we need a new regime…with Jacobin tendencies.

          • Foreign Waka

            GM is already in our food chain via imports and field trials. The worst part is that NZ farmers seem to be hellbent to get GM crops out there no matter what. Such irresponsible stance is very revealing and no matter how many times I am being made to belief that farmers have the best intention, my assertion is they don’t give a da… re calicivirus. They too will have to explain to their grandchildren “why”.

            • prism

              Ever heard a rugby player giving a report on reasons for failure in preparation or on the field? Farmers on GM wouldn’t be much better.

              • Foreign Waka

                I do not agree with the comparison. I think the stakes are a lot higher for many more people, in fact most likely generations and it has been proven that farmers cannot be trusted (calicivirus). To compare this to a game is frivolous. Farmers can get all the information and scientific data if they want to. But do they? So my answer is Rugby is just a game and it it its allure that no one should know the outcome. Farming is quintessential for the provision of food for humanity and we need and should know how the production of it will affect sustainability for future generations.

                • prism

                  You are so right. Of course my point is that many farmers refuse to apply their brains to the point that you are making. In other words, their fault is that they trivialise in their minds the important thing which is –

                  Farming is quintessential for the provision of food for humanity and we need and should know how the production of it will affect sustainability for future generations.

        • Rhinocrates

          Hope in Europe:


          A major victory for the world’s bee populations has been achieved in Europe, where a majority of European Union (EU) member states voted recently to ban the use of bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides across the entire continent for at least two years. In an overwhelming vote of 15 to 8, these member states decided that, based on a plethora of scientific evidence, the use of thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid on crops is destroying bee populations, and thus must end.

  15. Hoots is claiming that the Greens are *gasp* communists and entrists and is advocating that Labour goes into coalition with NZ First. I think that we should take his advice with a a large grain of salt.


    • fender 16.1

      Just like his ‘crash the sharemarket’ bullshit he’s a scaremonger, but I’m sure Key will appreciate him being in caHoots for a third term.

    • Tigger 16.2

      He’s worried we lefties won’t get to abolish knighthoods? Even a hard line anti titles person like me can let that go if it means creating stable government.

    • emergency mike 16.3

      But then, Matthew Hooten is a known bullshit artist.

    • Olwyn 16.4

      As I have commented on another thread, I thought he might be testing the water as to how receptive people would be to a grand coalition of National and Labour. With Winston cast as Voldemort and the Greens as communists, along with a Labour Party that refuses positioning, whose lefties are banished to limbo, what could go wrong? Labour reconfigured as the HR department of NZ inc. and the left reduced to fragments, with the world at last beholding the wonder of Matthew the deal broker. Callooh, Callay.

    • KJT 16.5

      Unfortunately, they are not!

      Fortunately they are mostly good hearted and at least mildly socialist.

    • Rhinocrates 16.6

      He also claims that he honestly, sincerely, would cross his heart if he could find it etcetera that a government with Peters in it would be the worst ever, that Shearer should whatever and whenever whatever happens, Key is a cunning linguist, I mean realist with a masterful command of the electorate who can build bridges blah blah blah blah American Express? That will do nicely blah.

      It all looks like Slap, slap…. KISS for Peters, no matter who’s running and that’s what he’s counting on.


  16. Lefty 17

    Hooten thinks its time for capitalisms b and c teams to step up and replace National. He knows the left is not keen on Normam and Shearer ,and that they have no chance of success until they can shore up their position among the traditional labour constituency, so he is trying to make them look like they are left. Calling them communist is really an attempt to convince us they are at least centrist rather than the creatures of the right they actually are.

    I think he has got it wrong inasmuch as there is probably still another term in Key yet and in their desperation to become government Shearer and Norman will have moved even further to the right by then. The right is really very very safe whatever happens.

    Diabolically clever Mr Hooten!

  17. prism 18

    I found this little gem in an old NZ Listener. I haven’t read Philip Larkin’s poems but he seems punchy.

    I want to see them starving,
    The so-called working class,
    Their wages weekly halving,
    Their women stewing grass.

    I wonder if those literate NACTs have ever read poetry, and if they did, did they understand it?
    Any one know tips on grass cooking? Do you blanch it first or what?

    • Clockie 18.1

      One of the most powerful literary experiences I had in my formative years (15-16??) was reading The Grapes of Wrath. Endless images of the exploitation and abuse of the powerless and unemployed, but one of the most outrageous that struck me at the time was the Californian Orchardists spraying their unsaleable excess oranges with kerosine so that the itinerant refugees from the dustbowl couldn’t eat them.

  18. North 19

    This article reflects a quite widespread feeling amongst Samoans I know. Wasn’t aware of it really until the young Manu Samoa World Cup player had a go about pool game scheduling. And got bashed by the autocratic rugby authorities all the way to London for being a “lippy boy”.


  19. Two polls out tonight on TV1 and TV3.

    Stand by for elation or despair and considerable entrail gazing …

    • gobsmacked 20.1

      TV3’s last poll (April) was out of line with the others: National 49, Labour 30.

      So what’s the betting that gap will close, and Patrick Gower will apologise for the last one? (Only one of these is likely …).

      • mickysavage 20.1.1

        TV One

        National 49
        Labour 33
        Greens 9


        National 47
        Labour 33
        Greens 12

        Hmmm …

        But TV3 is reporting majority support for NZPower. The left need to keep selling it.

        • Anne

          According to TV1 National is up and has widened the gap…

          According to TV3 Lab/Greens are up and have closed the gap…

          Take your pick folks which one you believe.

          • Colonial Viper

            Both have Labour on 33% which is pretty much spot on with the last Roy Morgan. So that’s one data point we can have more confidence over.

            • McFlock

              No, because they sample different periods.

              • Colonial Viper

                If not a point around 33%, which is what all the latest major polls have been saying, what would you suggest is the true level of Labour support then?

                • McFlock

                  I’d suggest tacking on 3%-5% to account for especially reid’s bias towards nats as suggested by actual election results. Think they’re counting the greens a bit low again, too.

                  Waiting for roymorgan, myself. Is pundit still doing the poll of polls? That was pretty accurate over time as I recall. Can’t find a recent one.

              • Matthew Hooton

                Roy Morgan was done before Budget. Both TV polls were done after it.

                • McFlock

                  Pretty shit post budget track for the nats though.

                  • ghostrider888

                    maybe some voters have read John Armstrong’s analysis of them having the budget wool pulled over their eyes, forelocks and all that.

  20. Anne 21

    Am I first with the news?

    Labour’s candidate for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti byelection is: drumbeat…

    Meka Whaitiri.

  21. ghostrider888 22

    N 49
    L 33
    G 9
    Mana 1
    NZ1 4
    CC 2

    N 47
    L 33
    G 12
    NZ1 2.2
    (ACT, 0.02)

    Shearer down 3 to 12 re preferred PM.

    • gobsmacked 22.1

      Voters say …

      Opposition policy – very popular. Opposition leader – very unpopular.

      Gosh, if only there were some clue in there about what to do. It’s a real puzzle, nobody can possibly work it out, except every living soul outside the Labour caucus room.

      • ghostrider888 22.1.1

        yep; NZPower is well received even if voters appear in the dark regarding the wider National Party agenda. Oh well, maybe a bit more of the country and it’s infrastructure need to be sold out from under them. Interesting phenomenon this wheel of ‘colonization’ too; there will be votes to be chased on both sides of the Viaduct. Good to see the pundits commenting that Hone could be bringing in a colleague.

      • Rhinocrates 22.1.2

        A good many in the caucus room, I’ll wager. Half are in the back benches and could make a difference, the other half are in the front and won’t.

      • Lanthanide 22.1.3

        Yeah, reminds me of something that happened at my work re: staffing on different projects. There was a draw-droppingly obvious solution on the table, yet the other department took 8 weeks before they finally did it, after much prodding on the part of me and my department. Of course the stakes in my situation were significantly lower…

    • Colonial Viper 22.2

      Shearer down 3 to 12 re preferred PM.

      He’s new to the role, another 6 months you can almost guarantee that voters will warm to the man.

      • Rhinocrates 22.2.1

        Tell me CV, have you heard of Xeno’s paradox of the arrow?

        If you fire an arrow at a target, before it hits it, it must first be halfway there. At the halfway point, it must first pass the three-quarters mark before reaching the target. Likewise, before it reaches the target from the three-quarter mark, it must first be at the seven-eighths mark, and so on ad infinitum . Xeno presented this as proof that motion was impossible as a means of undermining logic itself, making him the first deconstructionist (though its logic kind of anticipates Special Relativity).

        However, it can be read another way. Just count the days until the election, then halve it. Shearer has that amount of time to prove himself, so right up to the last millisecond before the last vote is counted, he will still have half a millisecond to rise in the polls… and so on, ad infinitum .

        • Colonial Viper

          Nice 🙂

          Well, let’s not be silly, currently it’s too early to panic about Shearer not delivering the goods, by the start of next year it’ll suddenly change to being too change course and we have to go with what we have.

        • Clockie

          Hi Rhino. Interesting stuff. I bow to your much greater fund of general and specialist knowledge, but thought I should report back to you after being inspired to look up Xeno on Wikipedia. (my main resource and therefore probably the source of my misconceptions about many things). Anyway, I think you’ve conflated two of Xenos pardoxes. The Dichotomy Paradox and the Arrow Paradox. Anyway thanks for mentioning Xeno as I enjoyed the read.


          • Rhinocrates

            Probably, but since you’ve exposed my essential shallowness, I’m afraid that you must die. Remain where you are and it will be as painless as possible.

            • Clockie

              Quick, look over there! It’s a weeping ang…

              • Rhinocrates

                What would happen if a Weeping Angel met one of the Silence? Would the Angel forget if the Silent One blinked because then they wouldn’t be linked and you always forget meeting a Silent One? Would the Silent One blink?

                Moreover, would Doctor Manhattan beat Superman in a fight? My view is that Superman would win on points because Doctor Manhattan wouldn’t bother turning up.

                What if Dexter met Hannibal?

                These things keep me awake at night.

                • Clockie

                  “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

                  It’s one of those “perfect offense, perfect defense” things isn’t it?

                  You need to have a small nightcap and go to bed. 🙂

                • ghostrider888

                  How Bizzaro

                • ghostrider888

                  it’s A Design For Life.

        • Murray Olsen

          Shearer suffers from the quantum Zeno effect. Too many people are watching him, so he can’t do anything.

      • Lanthanide 22.2.2

        What were Key’s ratings at this time in his leadership of National?

        • Socialist Paddy

          At the same stage Key was walking on water.

          A choice Labour.

          Want to limp to possible marginal victory next year where you may have to rely on the Greens AND Winston Peters. Or want to lead and persuade people that it is time for a change.

          Clock is ticking

          • BM

            Agree, ditch the dickless Shearer and go Cunliffe.
            He’ll kick that Norman up the arse and show him who’s boss.
            Team Cunliffe has my vote.

        • Colonial Viper

          What were Key’s ratings at this time in his leadership of National?

          You’re saying that you expect Shearer to match that performance and become as popular as Key?

          • ghostrider888

            further to the strategy discussion; it is always helpful to engage, with the world at large, balance in and out, motivations met, Minds like Minds, let everything flow back from the association.
            -some seed falls on the path, some on rocky ground, some among the Thorns 😉 , while some, even one, may fall on good earth.

            which reminds me,
            “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” -Matt 24:24

            (just watched some Alan John Miller =/= Jesus on TV One’s Sunday; and all these people, including PhD’s believing he is the reincarnated Christ and his ‘soul-mate’ is Mary Magdalene living outback Queensland somewhere; 1000’s of followers!) No wonder the real Christ wept!

            • Colonial Viper

              Ahhhhhhhhh agree with all

              A poor farmer blames his seed…

              • ghostrider888

                or his tools, or the dirt; never forget the % of commentors v readers at any given moment in time and space; I reflect on the many things I have learned via The Standard; free food 😀

    • Matthew Hooton 22.3

      If you average out the two TV polls with the most recent Roy Morgan, and compare that with the average of those same three polls a month ago, it suggests Labour/Green has lost about 64,000 voters in the last month and National has picked up about 53,000 of these, and Maori and Mana parties about 9,000 and 7,500 respectively. Doesn’t look like NZ Power has worked, although the booming economy, plunging unemployment, rising wages, very low inflation, $5 billion of extra social spending and forecast surplus will also have helped National.

      • mickysavage 22.3.1

        And if you then poll the people who have changed their vote on why they have changed their vote it will be for a number of extraordinary reasons that have nothing to do with a sophisticated analysis of party announcements.

        You are really good Hoots. Are you going for a job with Crosby Textor?

        • Arfamo

          Imagining Shearer on the campaign trail is a frightening prospect. That poll’s only 1,000 people though. How do they choose those polled?

          “Plunging unemployment”‘s a bit overly hyperbolic I reckon. And “booming economy” isn’t exactly spot on either.

            • Arfamo

              No. That’s not a plunge, Matthew. That’s a slight dip. Don’t be silly.

              • Matthew Hooton

                If that is a “slight dip” then what happened in 2009 must have been a “slight rise”. I’d say unemployment lept up in 2009 and has plunged now. It will soon be below 6%.

                • So Matthew do you think the figures actually reflect reality?

                  National is extraordinarily adept at changing the measurement techniques to present a more positive result. I cannot get my head around how the level of employment is going down at the same time that the level of unemployment is going down …

                  • Matthew Hooton

                    National has nothing to do with the data collection, as you well know. Statistics NZ gathers the data and is totally independent from the government of the day. I am not aware of any change in methodology but if there has been it will be disclosed here: http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/employment_and_unemployment/household-labour-force-survey-info-releases.aspx

                    • KJT

                      Don’t have to be a statistician to smell something fishy in the unemployment stats.

                      From the raw numbers, Labour participation rate, the number of people working, has barely risen, much less than the increase in the working population through immigration and the natural birth rate.

                      The unemployment rate is going down?

                      Doesn’t add up!

                      What does add up is the more than a dozen young people I know personally who are no longer reflected in unemployment figures.
                      After more of a run around from WINZ, and dodgy employers with part time McJobs that cost more to do than not working, than anyone should have to take, no longer figure in the unemployment statistics because they have given up claiming the dole and are living off their family or in a garage.
                      A few have been camping at our place, on and off.
                      Two of them are now on the sickness benefit, for real, with severe depression after the way they have been treated.

                      Hopefully someone who can talk statistics will call out National publicly on this bullshit.

                • felix

                  “If that is a “slight dip” then what happened in 2009 must have been a “slight rise”. “

                  What rubbish Matthew.

                  Even according to the misleading and limited data in the link you posted, the rise is twice the size of the dip.

                  If the graph went back another 12 months you’d look even more of a liar than you do now.

              • Rhinocrates

                Don’t be silly

                “Silly”? Tories are never “silly”! They are very serious, responsible, trustworthy people with good genes and light skins! “Silliness” is simply not of their nature, so you too must take them seriously. Very seriously. Very, very seriously indeed. You might want to throw in “maturely” for good measure.

                Still, I would suggest, as a lunatic, as Hoots likes to think of me, this as an alternative:

                “Stop cherry-picking and misrepresenting a blip as a trend. In no way can you say ‘Look! It’s a swallow! It’s summer, summer forever! Henceforth we shall see peacocks, phoenixes, rukhs and griffins!’ ”

                FIFY (sorry, I really hate the smugness of “FIFY”).

                Anyway, saying “quit doing hit and run bullshitting” is like saying, “do something useful to someone other than yourself and your Tory paymasters” to him. He is what he is, he does what he does. Running the Turing Test on him would probably be a waste of time.

                Sorry Hoots (actually no, that’s a lie), the more seriously you take yourself, the more ridiculous you look. You really are the gift that keeps on giving, so keep being so very, very, very, very glockenspiel banana serious!

          • Gosman

            How does NZ compare with some other nations following a more left wing prescription for the economic challenges facing a nation, France for example ?

            • mickysavage

              If you ask Crosby Textor extraordinarily badly but if you were measuring reality I am not so sure …

              • Matthew Hooton

                As far as I know, Crosby Textor does not gather economic information. Most people rely on Statistics NZ and then the OECD’s harmonised stats for comparison. I doubt these are strictly “reality” but better than anyone’s anecdote.

                • As far as I know Crosby Textor does not worry about reality but works out what combination of words will help the cause of its masters. Most people would prefer to rely on reality but CT and the MSM feeds data of a different kind …

            • Matthew Hooton

              What a good question Gosman. The data is here: http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=STLABOUR Go to Unemployment Rates by age and gender.

              Some unemployment (aged 15+) highlights comparing latest available data (either Q4 12 or Q1 13):
              France: 10.2%
              Finland: 7.6%
              Sweden: 8.2%
              UK: 7.7%
              US: 7.7%
              Eurozone: 11.7%
              EU: 10.7%
              NZ: 6.2%

              And for 15-24 year olds?
              France: 25.4%
              Finland: 19.0%
              Sweden: 24.5%
              UK: 20.6%
              US: 16.4%
              Eurozone: 23.9%
              EU: 23.4%

              Probable lesson? Socialist policies like those pursued in France, Finland, Sweden and most of the Eurozone seem to lead to higher unemployment and youth unemployment than in so-called “neoliberal” NZ and US.

              • Rhinocrates

                Probable lesson?… seem

                ie., “I’ve just made shit up.”

                What probability? Got a percentage and some standard deviations, plus results from a control group for that or are you just cherry-picking again?

                Or are we all supposed to know that correlation with a single factor equals causation… right? Assuming that they are really “socialist” when in fact the banks were allowed to run wild, but you need to hide that, right?

                I look forward to your analysis of the Balfour Declaration, your solution to the problem of Schroedinger’s Cat and your interpretation of the iconography of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights

              • pollywog

                There’s an elephant in the room and it has a timebomb strapped to it…time is ticking away. What do you do ?

                Don’t think of an elephant.

                Fuck OECD stats by age and gender. Let’s do ethnicity and wonder why Pasifika (inclusive of Maori) is winning the race to the bottom by heaps.

                What’s the probable lesson to be learnt 20 years from now from local stats gathered over the last 150 years ?

                • Rhinocrates

                  Pollywog, I have a lot of Pasifika and Maori students and their performance frequently depresses me. It’s not because they’re undesirable in any way – whenever I see a Pasifika name on my class roll, I look forward to seeing them in person in my tutorials.

                  The fact is, universities, and I suppose schools, are structurally racist and sexist.

                  There is the implicit assumption that the student has no family ties or religion. Class times and deadlines are set, with penalties for non-attendence at specified time times and dates. Therefore, there is no flexibility, and there are penalties for obeying the needs of family and church.

                  “Island time” I know is not a joke, it is a reality, but the bureaucratic order won’t accommodate it.

                  In the university where I work, part-time and by limited contract, I don’t have flexibility to meet students outside the assigned schedule.

                  The creche has to be booked two years in advance – so if things were to be any worse, you would actually have to find a place for your child if you were a mother even before your child were conceived.

                  The bean-counters try to run schools and universities as if they were banks or factories and as if the ideal student had no family, no children, were white, atheist and rich – yet I see so many people who are none of these trying and deserving. That is a tragedy, and a cruel one, because it could be averted.

                  The weird thing is, in postgrad education, exactly the sort of flexibility and compassion with close personal contact that is needed exists.

                  • weka

                    Ae, this is a hang over from when university was designed for single white men of means. Why it hasn’t adapted is the interesting question.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Yeah, all the “reform” they’re supposed to undertake is supposed to make them “market-oriented”, but the teaching I want to do, the research I want to do – as a single white guy (though not of means) leans more towards the opposite of that.

                  • Gosman

                    Why should we accomodate “Island time”? It is just tardiness and lack of proper priority setting by another name.

                    • Morrissey

                      Why should we accomodate “Island time”? It is just tardiness and lack of proper priority setting by another name.

                      You know, even by your exceptionally low standards, that was a particularly stupid and offensive remark.

                      You are a fool.

                    • Gosman

                      Care to explain why?

                    • felix

                      “Care to explain why?”

                      Sure Gos. I think you’ll find this link enlightening if you read it.

                    • weka

                      Why should we accommodate ‘Pakeha time”? It is just anal retentive control freakery and complete disconnection with the rhythms of life by another name.

                      Of course the answer to my question is that Pakeha are the dominant culture who try and enforce their practices on everyone (see, more control freakery).

                    • Gosman

                      The trouble with that logic is that people don’t have to accomodate ‘Pakeha time’. It has been designed so the minimum number of people are impacted. What is suggested here is that other people need to work harder or less efficiently to enable a person to have flexibility to do something which is ultimately benefits them. If they don’t want to make sacrifices for their own good then they should be willing to accept the negative consequences.

                    • weka

                      Pakeha time wasn’t designed. And it doesn’t suit the most people, it enforces certain kinds of lives on most people. Pakeha time evolved out of the industrial revolution* that needed wage slaves as fodder for the progress of people with too much power and not enough heart.

                      *or earlier, depending on how you look at it.

                      Of course many people don’t have to accommodate Pakeha time, they’ve been socialised into it so it comes naturally. That’s the point being made – some people don’t naturally fit into that kind of time, and this creates unfairness. There are lots of benefits to Island time. Your statement that it’s about tardiness and lack of proper priority setting is simply ignorant, in both senses of the word.

                      Tell me this then, do you think that women should be allowed to breast feed on demand at work?

                  • Populuxe1

                    And here’s why that’s a crock of shit. Perhaps this has something to do with you teaching in fine arts where most of the work is one on one studio time and then only part time, but outside of the art school, having lectured at tertiary level myself, it’s more like being faced with first year undergraduate papers of anywhere up to 200 students. Each of those students comes from a diverse range of backgrounds, has made considerable financial, social, and time sacrifices to attend those classes, they have expectations, and there is no room for flexibility without disrespecting their commitment to learning and getting a qualification. Then there’s the workload of planning a year of lectures, a dozen tutorial groups, setting assignments, and having to mark 200 essays three or four times a year which leaves very little room for making exceptions.

                    If universities were structurally racist, why are the science departments full of students from all over Asia who top all of their classes? If universities are structurally sexist, why do female students outnumber and out-achieve male students? If universities are unsympathetic to religion, why are thousands of Muslim students able to achieve so highly (engineering comes to mind) while fitting their studies around praying five times a day? Basically it’s because they respect education as a privilege and discipline themselves accordingly.

                    If you were to treat working life with a similar casual disregard, you would very soon find yourself fired. Also, I think that you are disrespecting the mana of many fine Maori and PI academics who got where they are by working hard and not by being pandered to or treated as if they had special needs.

                    • felix

                      “If universities were structurally racist, why are the science departments full of students from all over Asia who top all of their classes?”

                      Without a trace of irony eh Pop?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Felix, I suspect you are trying desperately hard to infer something in that which is not there – very much your typical style. Students from Asian countries tend to gravitate toward the sciences rather than the arts at our universities. If that’s where their cultural values lie, that’s neither here nor there. Perhaps you should check your own internalised racism before you start projecting on others.

                    • weka

                      “If universities were structurally racist, why are the science departments full of students from all over Asia who top all of their classes?”

                      Structural racism doesn’t work against all but one ‘race’. It works to the overwhelming advantage of the dominant culture, and by consequence denies advantages to others. That some Asians do well within that doesn’t mean that other people aren’t disadvantaged.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  The ethnicity data can be found here: http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/Browse%20for%20stats/HouseholdLabourForceSurvey/HOTPMar13qtr/hlfs-mar13qtr-tables.xls

                  Go to table 5. It shows what you are worried about it. European-NZ unemployment is already down to 5.3%, compared with 13.9% for Maori and 15.2% for Pacific peoples. Don’t know how these compare with ethnic minorities in France, Sweden, Finland etc, but I expect they would be worse given the much higher base unemployment in those countries.

                  • Rhinocrates

                    And that is absolutely, utterly, fucking useless to everyone… but hey, you’ve found someone’s stats!

                    Can I pat you on the head? Is that what you want?

                  • Rhinocrates

                    Come on Hoots, what’s your solution, being a great statistician, albeit taught – who knows if you actually stayed awake – only to a cursory level a quarter of a century ago and having absolutely no real experience in education whatsoever?

                    Guess what? Google is not wisdom. The worst assignment I ever got had a bibliography with one item: “www.google.com”

                    They got an E. I can’t remember if I gave them a zero or actually awarded points for using an attractive font.

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      No idea. Out of my pay-grade. But obviously not out of yours.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Ooh, Hoots, the working class hero, labouring away at spin on a mere pittance while I drive my Phantom fueled with Chateau Neuf du Pape (as all of the “liberal elite” do)to the gilded palace. I can imagine Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch already.

                      On the contrary. I’m sure that you get paid very well. We people who do real work that helps real people don’t get paid all that much, Matthew Antoinette.

                      You know, that reveals something about you – you think that money equals worth.

                      If one wants to run the math, exactly what percentage of worth do you have as a person – since money correlates with worth – do you have in relation to say, Bill Gates? Exact percentage please.

                      You could just say “Thhhhbbbbt!” you know.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Oh, by the way Hoots, in order to raise the intellectual content of your argument in the interest of fair play and all that, I suggest that as well as saying “Thhhhbbbbt!”, you can also close your fist and raise your middle finger. You can also call me poo-pants, or if you want to look “serious”, you could google Jellico’s tactics at Jutland, which would be about as relevant as everything else you’ve linked.

                      FYI, here’s a poo-pants reference:

                      I believe in fair play, you know, so make use of it if you like.

                  • prism

                    MH And what do we take from that. We have the plague but no worry it’s in other countries too. So that’s okay, it’s status quo, we don’t need to worry about doing anything.

              • ghostrider888

                Kiwis (in work) wanting to leave their jobs
                (must help productivity and skill development…)

              • ghostrider888

                and maybe the Euro-debt crisis.

              • KJT

                Or, Maybe it is because more socialist countries are more honest with their statistics?

                In New Zealand, my wife, for example, does not figure in unemployment statistics because I have a job.
                In some countries they count all those who could be working, but are not.

                New Zealands way of working out the number of unemployed has always seemed flawed to me.

                • prism

                  I think that Brits have regularly reorganised their way of counting unemployment and we have followed (the) suit. There used to be a printed Jobs Newsletter in NZ then an on-line version which I think ran out of money and probably finished off by lack of strong support, and it used to bring us up to date with such important info.

              • Ennui

                No Matthew, as you are fully aware there are no “socialist” policies in those countries, merely the remains of the Post War consensus on sharing the spoils of capitalisms success that was predicated by “growth”. That has come to an end, hence the figures.

                If you cared to see a little reality with no left /right bias you would come to the startlingly obvious conclusion that the figures clearly show that the system is failing. A clever person (you dont need to be a genius so it wont stretch your brain too much) might realise that the same old prescriptions have all been tried and failed. Which makes suggesting we do the same thing all over again except harder as you regularly advocate rather stupid.

      • ghostrider888 22.3.2

        do YOU even believe your own nonsense? Have you not caught up with even Paddy Gower yet!

        • Matthew Hooton

          Don’t understand your comment I just did a bit of maths. Saw Paddy Gower on TV. Thought he was in a bit of a difficult position because his May poll was a rogue with National as high as 49%, well out of line with the others. Now his poll has come back more in line with the other two (which have National up and Labour/Green down compared with a month ago) he has had to go on TV and say why National polling 47.1% is a bad result.

          • Tamati

            It’s ridiculous that both networks always take their polls to be a perfect sample of the underlying public opinion.

          • Poission

            Don’t understand your comment I just did a bit of maths.

            Actually it is more secretarial then mathematical, you made an assumption based on an arithmetic mean.

            • Matthew Hooton

              You are right. It would be even more interesting to calculate the rate of change wouldn’t it?

          • McFlock

            Fascinating, by the way, that a Reid Research poll of 49% for the nats a month or so back was a “rogue” that had them too high. All through 2011 Reid had the nats well in excess of 50%, and what did they get in the election?

            Heck, a reid poll with nats at 47% probably puts their actual support at 44% or so. No wander you guys are pulling out the “Dancing Hippie Cossacks” routine.

      • ghostrider888 22.3.3

        Here ‘Tis “Labour and Greens close gap on National” , or do you just read the funny pages ‘Matthew’?

        • Matthew Hooton

          Yes, saw that. But you have to consider it alongside http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/national-could-rule-alone-poll-shows-5448640 and the Roy Morgan, average them all out (which gives a sample of 3000 people) and compare them with a month ago. And even the TV3 poll has National able to govern alone, just.

          • McFlock

            the roy morgan that you just pointed out took place before the budget?

          • Lanthanide

            “, average them all out (which gives a sample of 3000 people) and compare them with a month ago.”

            Sorry Matthew but statistics don’t work that way. 3 separate polls that each sampled 1000 people is not equivalent to 1 poll that sampled 3000 people.

            • Matthew Hooton

              That’s true, but two polls done at the same time (as the TV ones were), both of 1000 people, give a better indication than just one of 1000.

              • Lanthanide

                Ok good, just wanted to throw that in there, because so many in the media seem to have such little understanding of statistics. Basically they do the public a disservice by misreporting (out of ignorance) the true state of things.

              • Rhinocrates

                No, pseudoscientific bullshit. A consistent methodology must be used. Reproducibility demands consistency, otherwise any observed correlation is coincidental at best. No consistency of methodology is demonstrated by all parties.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  Well, it’s been nearly a quarter century since I did 7th form stats and then a few shockingly boring 1st year uni papers on it, so I am no Nate Silver, but it is fairly obvious that 2 polls by fairly reputable polling companies are probably better than 1. But even with consistent methodology, you won’t get reproducibility – even with the same company using the same methodology on the same night. It’s probability theory after all. But Nate Silver has managed to prove that the polls have some degree of value (to ay the least) when analysed correctly.

                  • Rhinocrates

                    quarter century since I did 7th form stats

                    That admission tellingly undermines everything you’ve written and the rest is waffle and has nothing to do with anything.

                    For example: “It’s probability theory after all” is a non-sequitur, followed by some unsubstantiated name-dropping.

                    “When analysed correctly” is so vague as to be meaningless, indeed insultingly so.

                    If I were marking your assignment, you’d get an E. I get better reasoning from 100-level undergrads.

      • Saarbo 22.3.4

        You really do talk some rubbish Matthew, you know very well that the reason that National and Key continue to poll well is because the alternative, Mr Shearer, is fucken hopeless.

        • Matthew Hooton

          Yes, that probably is a factor too. Although Shearer polls at least as well as Bolger in 1989 and would have to check where Clark was in 1998 – but certainly higher than she was polling in 1995 a year before she actually won the election (except Peters stole it from her).

          • Rhinocrates

            Again, bullshit. So-called “externalities” have changed. This is not the environment of 1989, 1452 or 1270 BC. There are far too many other factors at play so that narrow correlation of selected factors is meaningless against different contexts. Once again Hoots is using a cargo-cult imitation of science.

            Have you considered becoming a homeopath Hoots?

            • Colonial Viper

              The consistent message is this: give Shearer just 6 more months to gain traction.

          • Saarbo

            That is interesting, but then stand back and compare Shearer to Bolger, Clark and Key, they are in a different league.

            I recently saw him speak and he reminds me of a typical career middle manager in a corporate. He says the right thing, nothing risky, doesn’t have the charisma to connect with his audience (going through the motions), the content of what he had to say was a repeat of the previous weeks political stories, pretty lightweight stuff. But for me the main issue is that he really lacks confidence when it comes to talking about anything to do with the economy, I suspect that many voters have picked up on this hence the polls. I think this is a real shame as Labour have a suite of policies that are far superior to Nationals when it comes to lifting our economy out of our obsession with housing and all of the downstream problems this causes.

            I would put a decent bet that if Shearer is still leading Labour come election 2014 we will see another “Show me the money” moment. I guess this wouldn’t worry you too much though Matthew.

  22. Rhinocrates 23

    IIRC, NZ1 never does well in the polls between campaigns, but always picks up during. Peters is good at one thing: campaigning.

    Come the post election negotiations, replace Jim Kirk with Peters and the tribbles with baubles.



  23. Rich the other 24

    Just in case you missed it, it’s been a great weekend but this is the icing on the cake.

    A One News-Colmar Brunton poll puts National up a huge 6 percentage points since early April to 49 per cent – enough to govern alone – with Labour trailing on 33 (down 3).

    The Green Party was down 4 points at 9 per cent.

    It just gets keeps getting better.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Hmmmmm welcome to the discussion, late as you are…

      • Rich the other 24.1.1

        Not late , just rubbing it in.

        • McFlock

          Rubbing one out, more like

          • Rhinocrates

            In any case, the Labour caucus and wider membership needs to be asking itself some serious questions and perhaps possibly even taking action (!). Faith and “give him some more time” is rapidly running out of credibility.

            It doesn’t matter how “right” they are, the fact is, they are simply not making the connection and that’s all that matters.

            • McFlock


              • Rhinocrates

                Your lack of commitment to that “whatever” is disappointing. You need to twirl your peroxided hair, blow a bubblegum bubble and pronounce it “What-eeeev-aaaah”.

                Make sure that the bubble pops at the right time to punctuate your statement, and don’t get any on your face.

                • McFlock

                  Normally, people choose not to interact with people they’ve previously accused of stalking. I don’t give a shit if you follow that rule or not. But nor do I give a shit about what you think labour should do. At least this time, I grant you, your suggestion consisted of slightly more than rabid abuse.

                  • ghostrider888

                    Chill, and read some International Current Affairs below, or not. 😀

                  • Rhinocrates

                    Well then, there’s hope yet.

                    Truth be told, McFlock, I regret our conflict as genuinely unfortunate, because while I find you accusation that I support genocide – used for rhetorical purposes – offensive, I do see that you and I share the same desire to see a real left government that comes to pass and works in practise, rather than existing in the ideal.

                    I would like to be in alliance with you.

                    If we can broaden that overlap, that would be good. It’s the Romans, not the Peoples Front of Judea or the Judean Popular Front that are the enemy.

                    So best wishes.

                    • McFlock

                      Well that’s not patronising, self-absorbed, egotistical bullshit. /sarc

                      And yet again, I never made that accusation. Months and months ago. The only reason you think I did was your inability to distinguish between “support” and “not obstruct”. Similar to your failure to understand what Robertson said about market reforms.

                      Frankly, I can do without “allies” like you.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And there goes the Neutrality Pact

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Fine, I held out my olive branch. I could dispute what you say in detail, but I’m not interested in scoring points and won’t pick nits over any single word (and considering my neurological temperament, not picking nits takes an enormous effort). Think about it, I’m open to any overture…

                      I grant you, your suggestion consisted of slightly more than rabid abuse.

                      I took that as a gesture at conciliation.

                      The door remains open.

                    • pollywog

                      heh…the enemy of my enemy is my friend….NOT!

                    • ghostrider888

                      to become the enemy, see yourself as the enemy of the enemy
                      know your enemy, know his sword
                      Today is victory over yourself of yesterday, Tomorrow is victory over lesser men.(boys will be boys) 😀

                    • Rhinocrates

                      ghostrider888, you were here under another handle for a while, if you don’t mind me asking?

                      Never mind, no need to answer.

                      Night night.

                    • ghostrider888

                      That would be Rogue Trooper

                    • McFlock

                      It’s a blog site. We don’t need to be friends. Acknowledging a fact is not a diplomatic gesture between nations, it’s simply acknowledging a fact to avoid hyperbole.

                      How about you think twice before replying to one of my comments, especially if you feel like going off on a tangent about how shearer is shit and/or should be rolled? And I’ll do the same, especially if I feel like pointing out that you are wildly overstating the case.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      That would be Rogue Trooper

                      Thought so, glad you’re hanging around.

                    • Rhinocrates



                      I’ll take what you say on board. However, if I do not like Shearer, I am permitted to say so, creepy intimidation in an attempt to silence me is not appropriate. Do NOT accuse me of supporting genocide and do NOT give the appearance of stalking me. I’ve had it before and you need to realise how creepy it is.

                    • McFlock

                      I didn’t say you weren’t permitted to say it.

                      I just suggested that if you really want to avoid arguments, viewing the “reply” button below one of my comments as an excuse for you to once again go into a rant about Shearer would be counter-productive to that objective.

                      And 99% of my alleged “stalking” seems to be me simply replying to your replies to me, so the above policy should prevent those delusion, too. If you don’t reply to my comments, I can’t reply to your replies. Pretty fucking simple, isn’t it?

                      PS: I never fucking said you supported genocide.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      PS: I never fucking said you supported genocide.

                      That is a blatant lie. When I said that I opposed the use of mercenaries, you repeatedly said that I support genocide, again and again and again.

                      my alleged “stalking”

                      I don’t care if you say it’s alleged or whether you say it’s “pulling on a thread” or whatever. It’s stalking. I’ve had an abusive stalker in my life who made all sorts of excuses, said that it was always for another reason, who had all sorts of points to make, all sorts of advice to give – and I will not permit another person to do that.

                      Abusive people always try to excuse their abuse – they always have excuses and they think it’s up to them alone to decide, not their target, if they’ve done anything wrong – but it’s still stalking. Stop it.

                      Stop trying to excuse yourself, just back off.

                    • Rhinocrates


                      Why the February vote could be very bad for Labour

                      Here’s just one example, but you repeated it over and over afterwards

                      You just prefer genocide over even thinking about paying people to stop it.

                      I’m not going to search for more, I’m not going to cede control to you by spending my time doing that, which is what you want.

                      Spare me any weasel words and convoluted qualifications.

                      STOP, BACK OFF

                    • McFlock


                      [edit], oh you added more.

                      The comment where I answered your question “Do I support genocide” with “In answer to your question, no.
                      You just prefer genocide over even thinking about paying people to stop it.”

                      So just to recap:
                      Q:”Do I support genocide”
                      A: “no”.

                      On what planet is that an accusation that you support genocide?

                    • McFlock

                      oh, that’s right – you think passively doing nothing to stop something equals actively supporting it.


                      oh sorry: you replied to me. You “back off”.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      You’re trying to get me to play your game. Another taunt, another question demanding an answer.

                      This is abusive, it is taunting, it is clearly constructed to solicit further engagement.

                      This is clearly a dangerous obsession. If it goes on much longer, I’ll take it to the police or health authorities. If in future you make any attempt, however subtle, to find out details about my identity or location, it will definitely be taken to the police.

                      Again, STOP.

                    • McFlock


                      [B] – Not hilarious. Crap at best. Quit now McFlock and don’t stray back to the same territory further on down the track.

                    • Rhinocrates


                      And, breaking my rule of never being Doctor Internet, your utter lack of empathy, your refusal to even imagine that you might be responsible for harm to others indicates at least some degree of psychopathy.

                      Everything you say is all about scoring points for yourself, proving your superiority, exerting control, deriving amusement.

                      I will not play your game on your terms.

                      As I said, any attempt by you, however subtle, to find out anything about my identity or location will be forwarded to the police.

                      [lprent: the only way that commentators can find out anything here is if you tell them. Read the privacy section of the policy. ]

                    • ghostrider888

                      Rs. 😎

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Sorry, ghostrider888, what do you mean by “Rs. “?

                      I could chill, yes, but I’ve had this experience before. My stalker’s behaviour escalated and got much much worse. I won’t go into any personal detail about that.

                      I’m not a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist, but McFlock is certainly showing the pattern of a stalker based on my prior experience.

                      The outward signs are relatively mild at the moment, but the pattern is visible. At the core of the strategy is obsessive personal denigration of a person – to them, not about them – closely linked with some sort of demand or provocation for a personal reply, so as to keep the cycle going. Indeed, denigration of them may be concealed from others… though things are a bit different on the Internet now.

                      Stalkers don’t have a “plan” in mind because they are compulsive and therefore they’ll deny their behaviour even to themselves – but while they will keep repressing it, they keep needling in a way intended to get an ongoing relationship. Any attempt to fight back will be taken as an excuse for physical and sexual abuse to follow, though it is not always in the context of a sexual relationship or its aftermath. Physical violence may however be an objective.

                      Observers outside will say “you’re imagining things” because the stalker will say, “who, me?” with a look of innocence. Women in abusive relationships have had to face scepticism in the past because of this. Thankfully, that’s being recognised a bit nowadays.

                      Stalkers are not very self-aware and they will say, with seeming honesty “but I never intended…” – however, they are compulsive and they rarely stop unless they are stopped. They are narcissists who have no idea of the harm they cause; they simply care about scoring their own points, proving to themselves some point that forever eludes them.

                      I don’t know, not being a qualified professional, if McF is a stalker and a narcissist, but they are showing that behaviour, persistently.

                      In any case, I think that people need to be aware of the warning signs so that they are safer themselves.

                      First rule: do not engage with them on their terms.

                      Second rule: never let them know anything – however vague – about your identity or location if they do not already know it.

                      Third: if you repeatedly warn them to back off and they find an excuse not to, such as blaming your for their actions (the usual), they’re obsessed.

                      Fourth: keep notes with dates as evidence.

                    • ghostrider888

                      Rs just short-hand for Rhinocrates.
                      Kind Regards.

                    • Rhinocrates



                      In case you’re wondering, the “Rhinocrates” handle is a reference to The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. One of their songs is “Rhinocratic Oaths”. Give them a listen if you like Monty Python.

            • RedLogix

              Nah… Labour need to loose two or three more elections before their hard-right caucus is finally wiped out.

              • Colonial Viper

                You should consider a possible scenario where a right wing caucus is still in charge of the remaining carcass despite that.

                • Clockie

                  ..possible scenario where a right wing carcass is still in charge of the remaining caucus despite that.


  24. ghostrider888 25

    The Early, or late Edition:
    Bombs on Beirut

    sadly, no surprises that attacks on Muslims escalate following Woolwich

    The Sumatran Rainforest will mostly disappear within 20 years.

    Austerity social unrest may spread across Europe

    China’s Tolerance for economic slow-down
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-26/xi-joins-li-in-indicating-china-tolerance-for-slower-growth-rate.html (suspends coal-fired power projects -Inner Mongolia
    The Dead Sea Scrolls at a glance

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  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    12 hours ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    16 hours ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    18 hours ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    20 hours ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    21 hours ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    5 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
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